Scheda insegnamento

  • Docente Tvrtko Jakovina

  • Crediti formativi 4

  • SSD M-STO/03

  • Modalità didattica Convenzionale - Lezioni in presenza

  • Lingua di insegnamento Inglese

  • Orario delle lezioni dal 22/01/2018 al 28/03/2018

Anno Accademico 2017/2018

Conoscenze e abilità da conseguire

Student is expected to acquire a sound knowledge of the most relevant historical events in the 20th century Balkans, to develop an in-depth knowledge of integrative and disruptive factors, the role of communism and nationalism, the impact of the external factors and agencies in the regional stabilization/destabilization.


South Eastern Europe was for centuries part of different imperial systems, influenced from different centers. It was also a region where different empires were colliding. The border between the Eastern and the Western Roman Empire was running through the SEE. Both for the Byzantium and the state of Charlemagne region was on the very edge of their imperial domains. In the late medieval period and later, parts of the region were border areas of the Ottoman, Habsburg and Venetian systems (Triplex confiniuim). Therefore, three imperial systems were colliding, or being forced to cooperate, in SEE. It all changed with the Balkan wars and the WWI. The Ottoman Empire (later Turkey) was de facto pushed from the region. The Habsburg Monarchy seized to exist in 1918. However, the old imperial systems, practices and traditions did not evaporate. New realities were created, but they were usually based in the old practices, sometimes as a pure negations (the Ottoman tradition was always and everywhere negative example, even justification of present-day hardships), or very positive, even posh symbols of the glorious past (Habsburgs in some parts of SEE). Hitler Germany had special, but not fully developed idea, for the region. After WWII the Communist “empire” was created in the biggest part of SEE. As the Soviet controlled system it was reduced first after the Yugoslavs left in 1948, then the Albanians in the 1960’, but it nevertheless remained “red”. Even more, the Yugoslavs for a short period forged an military alliance with the two NATO members, Greece and Turkey. Transition that followed the end of the Cold War resulted in, probably for the first time ever, the same aim of all countries in the region - to join or to remain – part of the European Union.

The goal of this modul is to give an overview of 20th century history of SEE seen through the prism of larger systems/empires, to try to detect how big powers were coping with the region, trying to absolve it, make it more like them. It should show how new “imperial” players were introduced, how, for example, communist system was differently organized in 4 communist countries in the region.

Lecture 1: Introduction. SEE in early 20th century. Italy at war in 1915.

Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908. Founding of Albania. The Balkan Wars. Aim towards Bulgarian empire. (lecture)

Lecture 2: The First World War and the end of the Empires (lecture).

Lecture 3: The Interwar period. Bulgaria in Crisis. Little Antante (Yugoslavia, Romania, Czechoslovakia), Albanian question. (conversation).

Lecture 4: The rise of Germany, crisis in the SEE. The right-wing groups in Yugoslavia and Bulgaria. Italian imperial plans. Metaxas in Greece. (conversation; lecture).

Lecture 5: The Second World War. Nazis and Slavs. New entities within German/Italian system. (lecture)

Lecture 6: After the War, before the Cold War. Superpowers as new imperialists? Yugoslav-Bulgarian-Albanian-Greek alliance-to-be? Yugoslav 1948 and Tito's «no» to Stalin. The Truman Doctrine.

Lecture 7: Socialist and democratic worlds. SEE divided: the Nonaligned Yugoslavia, Stalinist Albania, semi-independent Romania, pro-Soviet Bulgaria, democratic countries?

Lecture 8: The Chinese and the Soviets in SEE – La Cina e vicina? «Big ideas, small nations”: the non-alignment of Yugoslavia and pure communism of Albania. The decline of the communist system.

Lecture 9: The break up of Yugoslavia and the end of the Communist Empire.

Lecture 10: The New World Order. Towards another – European - Empire?



(Some literature will be added in during the course)

  1. CRAMPTON, R.J. 2002. The Balkans Since the Second World War. London: Longman.
  2. GLENNY, Misha 2001.The Balkans. Nationalism, War and the Great Powers 1804-1999. London: Penguin Books.
  3. LAMPE, John 2005. Balkans into Southeastern Europe. A Century of War and Transition. Palgrave-Macmillan.
  4. MACMILLAN, Margaret 2002. Paris 1919. Six Months that Changer the World. New York: Random House. (selected chapters).


  1. Connelly, John, Nazis and Slavs: From racial Theory to Racist Practice. Central European History, vol. 32, no. 1, 1999. (1-33)
  2. Gibianski, Leonid, The 1948. Soviet-Yugoslav Condlict and the Formation of the “Socialist Camp” Model. Odd Arne Westad, Sven Holtsmark, Iver B. Neumann (ed), The Soviet Union in Eastern Europe, 1945-1989. St. Martin’s Press 1994.
  3. Swain, Geoffrey, The Cominform: Tito’s International? The Historical Journal 35, 3 (1992), 641-663.
  4. Ristović, Milan, The birth of “Southeastern Europe” and the Death of “The Balkans”. Thetis, Mannheimer Beiträge zur Klassichen Archäologie und Geschicthe Griechenlands un Zyperns. Herausgegeben von Rinchard Stupperich und Heinz A. Richter, Band 2, Mannheim 1995.
  5. Daskalov, Roumen. Development in the Balkan Periphery prior to World War Second: Some Reflections. - Südost-Forschungen, München, 1998.
  6. Stokes, Gale. The Walls Came Tumbling Down: The Collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe. Oxford: Oxford Univerity Press, 1993.

Additional Reading:

  1. A History of Romania (The Modern Age: Romanian Lands under Foreign Rule 1848-1918 and further to The Twentieth Century; 330-577).
  2. KOLA, Paulin 2003. The Search for Greater Albania. London: Hurst.
  3. IATRIDES, John. O. 1968. Balkan Triangle. Birth and Decline o fan Alliance Across Ideological Boundaries. The Hague: Mouton.

Metodi didattici

Lectures, discussions.

Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento

Written exam (esseys) and class participation.

Every student will be expected to prepare short, 5 minutes long, presentation of some of the most important personalities or events from the region. For example, Alexander Stambolyski, Stjepan Radić or Crna ruka organization, Miroslav Krleža or Dobrica Ćosić, Ana Pauker etc. In that way, I would like to stimulate discussion and make sure students will pay attention to some of the most important phenomenon from the history of the region.

Strumenti a supporto della didattica

Power Point presentations, documentaries (DVD)

Orario di ricevimento

Consulta il sito web di Tvrtko Jakovina